264 Works

Microgeographic adaptation corresponds with elevational distributions of congeneric montane grasshoppers

Sonu Yadav, Adam Stow & Rachael Dudaniec
Local adaptation can occur at small spatial scales relative to the dispersal capacity of species. Alpine ecosystems have sharp environmental clines that offer an opportunity to investigate the effects of fine scale shifts in species’ niche breadth on adaptive genetic processes. Here we examine two grasshopper species endemic to the Australian Alps (Kosciuscola spp.) that differ in elevational niche breadth; one broader, K. usitatus (1400-2200m), and one narrower, K. tristis (1600-2000m). We examine signatures of...

Antipredator tactics: a kin-selection benefit for defensive spines in coral catfish?

Richard Shine, Vinay Udyawer & Claire Goiran
Morphological features that impair a predator’s ability to consume a prey item may benefit individual prey; but what of features that prolong prey-handling but do not enhance prey survival? For example, a Striped Eel Catfish (Plotosus lineatus) will be fatally envenomated if struck by its specialist predator, the Greater Sea Snake (Hydrophis major). Nonetheless, the catfish typically erects long, toxic pectoral and dorsal spines that increase prey-handling times for the snake by around eightfold. Because...

Data from: Economics, life history and international trade data for seven turtle species in Malaysia and Indonesian farms

Dalia A. Conde, Simon Kaae Andersen, Johanna Staerk, Elham Kalhor, Daniel J. D. Natusch, Rita Da Silva & Pfau Beate
We collected data on the wildlife trade of seven turtle and tortoise species endemic to Indonesia and Malaysia (Amyda cartilaginea, Batagur borneoensis, Cuora amboinensis, Carettochelys insculpta, Heosemys annandalii, Heosemys grandis, and Heosemys spinosa). We collated data for: the operations and economics of three breeding farms and one ranching facility; species life-history traits; and species international legal trade and confiscation data. We collected data for the facilities (one in Malaysia and three in Indonesia) using field...

Dispersal distances of radio-tracked cane toads in French Guiana

Richard Shine, Jayna DeVore & Simon Ducatez
Like most invasive species, cane toads have attracted less research in their native range than in invaded areas. We radio-tracked 34 free-ranging toads in French Guiana, a source region for most invasive populations, across two coastal and two rainforest sites. Coastal toads generally sheltered in pools of fresh or brackish water but nocturnally foraged on beaches, whereas rainforest toads sheltered in forested habitats, moving into open areas at night. Over five days of monitoring, native...

Data from: Hybridization fluctuates with rainfall in Darwin's tree finches

Rachael Dudaniec
Hybridization in natural populations may be an adaptive response to shifting climatic regimes, but understanding this can be limited by temporal sampling effort and confident hybrid identification. On the Galapagos Islands, Darwin’s finches regularly hybridize, and the islands show extreme annual variation in rainfall, however the effect of annual rainfall on the frequency of finch hybridization is little known. Across a 19-year period on Floreana Island, we compare patterns of hybridization in sympatric Darwin’s tree...

Belowground ecosystem engineers enhance biodiversity and function in a polluted ecosystem

Ana Bugnot, Paul Gribben, Wayne O'Connor, Katherine Erickson, Ross Coleman & Katherine Dafforn
Many important ecosystem functions are underpinned by belowground biodiversity and processes. Marine sediments, one of the most abundant habitats on earth, are essential to the mineralisation of organic matter. However, they are increasingly polluted by urban activities leading to the loss of biodiversity and the functions they provide. While traditional sediment remediation strategies are focussed on microbial and engineering solutions, we propose that the reintroduction of belowground ecosystem engineers (bioturbators) is important to rehabilitate polluted...

Sea snake approaches to divers

Richard Shine, Tim Lynch & Ross Alford
Scuba-divers on tropical coral-reefs often report unprovoked “attacks” by highly venomous Olive sea snakes (Aipysurus laevis). Snakes swim directly towards divers, sometimes wrapping coils around the diver’s limbs and biting. Based on a focal animal observation study of free-ranging Olive sea snakes in the southern Great Barrier Reef, we suggest that these “attacks” are misdirected courtship responses. Approaches to divers were most common during the breeding season (winter) and were by males rather than by...

Fossil evidence unveils an early Cambrian origin for Bryozoa

Zhiliang Zhang, Zhifei Zhang, Junye Ma, Paul Taylor, Luke Strotz, Sarah Jacquet, Christian Skovsted, Feiyang Chen, Jian Han & Glenn Brock
Bryozoans (ectoprocts or moss animals) are aquatic, dominantly sessile, filter-feeding lophophorates that construct an organic or calcareous modular colonial (clonal) exoskeleton. The presence of six major orders of bryozoans with advanced polymorphisms in lower Ordovician rocks strongly suggests a Cambrian origin for the largest and most diverse lophophorate phylum. However, a lack of convincing bryozoan fossils from the Cambrian has hampered resolution of the true origins and character assembly of earliest members of the group....

Larval and metamorph traits of cane toads

Richard Shine, Uditha Wijethunga, Matthew Greenlees & Melanie Elphick
As an invasive organism spreads into a novel environment, it may encounter strong selective pressures to adapt to abiotic challenges. We examined the effect of water temperature during larval life on rates of survival and growth of the early life-history stages of cane toads (Rhinella marina) from two geographic regions (tropical vs. temperate) in the species’ invaded range in eastern Australia. If local adaptation at the southern (cool-climate) invasion front has extended the cold-tolerance of...

Insect pollinators in different habitats of Shivapuri‐Nagarjun National Park, Nepal

Urmila Dyola, Chitra Baniya, Pushpa Acharya, Pradip Subedi, Anjeela Pandey & Kumar Sapkota
Insect pollinators are important means for a stable ecosystem. The habitat types play a crucial role in the community composition, abundance, diversity, and species richness of the pollinators. The present study in Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park explored the species richness and abundances of insect pollinators in four different habitats and different environmental variables in determining the community composition of the pollinators. Data were collected from 1500 m–2700 m using colour pan traps and hand sweeping methods....

Data from: Spatial variation in the biotic and abiotic filters of oyster recruitment: Implications for restoration

Juan Ramon Esquivel-Muelbert, Brendan Lanham, Francisco Martinez-Baena, Katherine Dafforn, Paul Gribben & Melanie Bishop
Attempts to restore marine ecosystems are increasing, but the success of projects remains variable. For marine invertebrates, the establishment of self-sustaining populations requires a larval supply as well as conditions that permit recruitment. Abiotic and biotic conditions that determine recruitment can vary across environmental gradients and have opposing or reinforcing effects. We assessed how predation and tidal inundation influence recruitment of the reef-forming oyster, Saccostrea glomerata, at 15 sites, 5 estuaries and 8 degrees of...

Data from: Angiosperm wood structure: global patterns in vessel anatomy and their relationship to wood density and potential conductivity

Amy E. Zanne, Mark Westoby, Daniel S Falster, David D Ackerly, Scott R Loarie, Sarah E J Arnold, David A. Coomes, David D. Ackerly, Sarah E. J. Arnold & Daniel S. Falster
Woody stems comprise a large biological carbon fraction and determine water transport between roots and leaves; their structure and function can influence both carbon and hydrological cycles. While angiosperm wood anatomy and density determine hydraulic conductivity and mechanical strength, little is known about interrelations across many species. We compiled a global dataset comprising two anatomical traits for 3005 woody angiosperms: mean vessel lumen area ( ) and number per unit area (N). From these, we...

Data from: Context-dependent sex allocation: constraints on the expression and evolution of maternal effects

Sarah R. Pryke, Lee Ann Rollins & Simon C. Griffith
Despite decades of research, whether vertebrates can and do adaptively adjust the sex ratio of their offspring is still highly debated. However, this may have resulted from the failure of empirical tests to identify large and predictable fitness returns to females from strategic adjustment. Here we test the effect of diet quality and maternal condition on facultative sex ratio adjustment in the color polymorphic Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae), a species that exhibits extreme maternal allocation...

Data from: Covariation in life-history traits: differential effects of diet on condition, hormones, behavior and reproduction in genetic finch morphs

Sarah R. Pryke, Lee B. Astheimer, Simon C. Griffith & William A. Buttemer
The relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors in determining variation in life-history traits is of central interest to evolutionary biologists, but the physiological mechanisms underlying these traits are still poorly understood. Here we experimentally demonstrate opposing effects of nutritional stress on immune function, endocrine physiology, parental care and reproduction between red and black head-color morphs of the Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae). Although body condition of black morphs was largely unaffected by diet manipulation, red...

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